Volume. XXVII, No. 49
Sunday, 02 June 2013

Christian Leaders, God's Servants

We have had many talks and messages regarding Christian leaders and leadership, the most recent one given by Dr. Mark Lehman during the YAF-AFG retreat in September 2012. In this short article, I shall briefly describe a few points about Christian leaders, most of which you would have already heard about or know about.

Leaders appointed by God

Christian leaders are appointed by God. Godly men do not have any ambition to be leaders. It is God who calls them and puts them in leadership position. Just as God chose Moses, a person who was content to remain a shepherd for the rest of his life and be withdrawn from all aspects of life in  society – even away from his own people.

It was God who called Gideon, a man who was the least in his clan and his clan was the least in his tribe and his tribe was the least in Israel.

It was Jesus who appointed His 12 Apostles, who were not well educated; four of whom were fishermen, one, a tax-collector and the rest of various occupations.

Leaders called to serve people

Our Lord Jesus said - “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28). This is the primary purpose of a Christian leader; to serve God’s people in various ways – through teaching, preaching, looking after people’s needs, showing hospitality and in many other ways.

Leaders called to be Shepherds

The Apostle Peter said to the Elders in his letter – “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God\'s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.”

(1Peter 5:2-3). The Apostle Paul said to the Elders of the Church in Ephesus – “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”  (Acts 20:28)

The main responsibility of shepherds is to guide, to protect and to feed the flock. Christian leaders should be guiding God’s people in the right direction, primarily by being good examples - in word, in conduct, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. They ought to be vigilant in protecting God’s people from worldly-wise men, from false teachers and other agents of Satan. They should feed the Church of God with the pure unadulterated Word of God.

Leaders called to be Men and Women of God

God calls men and women to be leaders in His Church, who will serve God and His people with single-minded devotion. They will be people after God’s own heart, who spend much time in communion with God through prayer and listening to His Word. They have cleansed themselves from the defilements of this world and so are vessels of honour ready for the Master’s use. Their only desire is to please God and not get entangled in worldly affairs. They will be men and women of integrity whose yes is a yes and no is a no. They will not be vacillating in their commitment but will press on to the end, irrespective of any change in circumstances or situations.

Leaders called to be compassionate

The Gospels describe many instances in which Jesus showed compassion for the people. On one occasion when vast multitudes of people began following Jesus, “Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.” (Matthew 15:32)

In the same way Christian leaders should reach out with compassion, especially toward the weaker members, to those who are feeling low and depressed, to those sick in body or soul.

Inasmuch as Christian leaders have the privilege of serving God’s people, they are also responsible for maintaining peace, purity and unity amongst the people.

Moses had the responsibility of leading about two million people out of the land of Egypt into the Promised Land of Canaan. The Judges, Kings and leaders of Israel had the responsibility to see that the Israelites worshipped the One True God, Jehovah and not follow the way of the heathens. The Apostles had the responsibility to see that the Church was not led astray by false teachers who preached another Gospel.

As fathers and mothers are responsible for the proper upbringing of their children, as Company Directors are responsible for the growth of the Company, so also are Christian leaders responsible for proper upbringing and spiritual growth of the people they lead.

Leaders called to be accountable

Just as leaders are responsible for looking after the Church they are also accountable for the sin of the Church. They will have to give an account to the Lord on the way they have discharged their duties. With greater privileges come greater responsibility and consequently, greater accountability. The writer to the Hebrews said – “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)
Leaders called to suffer

All God’s people are called to suffer with Christ and for Christ and Christian leaders even more so. When Jesus called Paul to be an Apostle, He said to Ananias regarding Paul – “ I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name\'s sake.” (Acts 9:16)

Our Lord Jesus suffered and died in order to redeem the Church. It is thus natural then for the leaders whom Christ has appointed to suffer for the Church. Christian leaders choose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.

Leaders called to lay down their life

All leaders are prepared to lay down their lives for God’s people whom they serve – “because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1John 3:16). Though not all are called to physically lay down their lives, all are called to lead sacrificial lives, to die to their own selves.

Beloved, all Christians are called to be leaders in some way. Not all are called to be leaders of a church or a Christian organisation or any small group. But all Christians are called to be witnesses and bring people to the Lord. When a Christian brings a non-Christian to the Lord, he automatically becomes a leader of that person and has the responsibility of discipling the newly born-again person. If you have a consuming zeal for the Lord, to make His Name known and loved among the people and to spread the Gospel, with a vision for God’s Kingdom to be established here on earth, God will give you a servant-leader’s heart, to serve the Church of God, to lead the Church into more spiritual understanding and cause it to be a beacon of light in a sin-darkened world. If we only follow the greatest Servant-Leader of all, our Lord Jesus Christ, we will be enabled to lead others also to follow Him.

Deacon Edwin D\'Mello

More Lively Hope



Kitchen Roster: Today’s Team Leader: Bro Boong Atijatuporn. Next Lord’s Day: Dn Colin Gan
*Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45 pm
*Anniversary Greetings from Senior Pastor Okman & Sis Myung Ki (London). Pastor Ki’s message will be published next week.
*The Lord’s Supper has been postponed to next Lord’s Day.
*All are encouraged to attend Adult Sunday School after fellowship lunch, & to participate in Neighbourhood Bible Study & fellowship groups.
*Please note: All members are expected to attend the Annual Congregation Meeting. Please mark this date in your dairy.

Praise & Thanksgiving:
Journey mercies: Rev Edward & Mrs Lehia Paauwe (S’pore); Elder Michael D Lee (Adl);  Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng & family; Bros Houston Li (Barossa/Adl) & Joseph Selvanayagam (Europe/Adl); Sisters  Lee Lan Chong (Adl), Gillian Ong (Italy/S’pore); Mary (Adl/Melb) & Rachel Ting (Melb); & others who are travelling.  
Commissioning of Pr Hai Seng Lim as Missionary Pastor by Ebenezer BPC last Lord’s Day.
Church Activities, in the past week.  
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Visitors & new worshippers.
Holy Matrimony in S’pore yesterday - Bro Chang Loong & Sis Heng Yee Cheah; Bro Joseph Lo & Sis Jia Hui Teo.

Prayer Items:
Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Surish Dharmalingam (Laos), Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (S’pore); Sisters Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Margaret Pearson, Corinne Teng, Susan Varadi (Nursing Home) & Audrey Yeo; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Mr Mang Soo Ong; Bro Pong Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.
Special Prayer: Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki (London); Bro Len Pearson (Lobethal).
Ministry in Singapore: Rev Edward & Mrs Lehia Paauwe.
Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry; Life University (Sihanoukville); Khmer believers to stand stedfast in the faith.
Kenya Missions: Deaconess Purdee Yeo & Sis Sarah Carpenter (12 - 25 June)
Ministry in New Life BPC (London) & God’s guidance for the future: Ps & Sis Ki.
Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.
iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry & preparation for ordination - Ps HS Lim  (Melb, Vic).
Ministry in Hope BPC - Ps & Sis Weng .  
Journey mercies: Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng & family (Barossa/Adl); Sisters Mary (Adl) & Rachel (Qld) Ting; Corinne Teng (Streaky Bay/Ceduna) & Serene Wong (S’pore); & others who are travelling.  
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
Full-time Job - Bro Timothy Ngoma; Sisters Felicia Tan, Corinne Teng & Sharon Ying (Per); & others looking for  stable jobs.
Australian Visas - Sisters Clara Sim, Felicia Tan (work) & Sharon Ying (PR)
God’s guidance & provision - Pastor for Hope BPC.
Uni students - study & preparations for exams



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